1962: Margaret Smith (later Margaret Court) walks off after one of the biggest upsets in tennis history. Ranked number one in the world, and favourite to win Wimbledon, the Aussie star has just lost her opening game to Billie Jean Moffitt (later Billie Jean King). Now 56, and ordained as a minister, Mrs Court tours Australia in a mobile ministry.


NEW D-G. The appointment of Greg Dyke as the Director-General of the BBC raises an important question: what happened to his beard? Was he forced to shave it off by the Board of Governors, or has it just been digitally retouched out of photos, like Prince William's frown? It's possible that after his glorious ascension to D-G, G D will now try to pretend that he never had a beard, which perhaps isn't such a bad idea. As for that other matter - his pounds 55,000 donation to the Labour Party - the opposition need not worry about bias or undue influence. Everybody knows it takes a lot more than that to turn the Labour Party's head.

Peerless moment for two lords of the ring


Tennis: King backs women's claim for prize-money equality

THE LEGENDARY Billie Jean King said yesterday it was high time the world's most famous tennis tournament gave women equal pay. Otherwise "The Spice Girls of Tennis" - as Martina Hingis calls them - may stage a boycott of Wimbledon.

The will to win - otherwise known as the will to be a complete pain

I think I know when tennis, and perhaps all sport, turned bad. I think it was the time Jimmy Connors started to make a fight of it in the fourth set of his first Wimbledon final against Bjorn Borg. Don't ask me what year that was. It doesn't behove a grown man to remember dates in sport. But it was when the Will to Win rose like a monster from the black depths of the Sea of Human Greed, crying "Me! Me! Give me!" - give and me being the only words in its vocabulary.

Tennis: Dokic enjoys her fame

ONE DAY after the victory that changed her life, Australia's Jelena Dokic teamed up with Tina Pisnik of Slovenia to win their first round doubles match at Wimbledon yesterday.

Tennis: Court Circular Advice at a price from wealthy LTA

IT IS heartening to know that the Lawn Tennis Association is seeking out new talent wherever it can be found, even in supermarkets. Wandering around a branch of Tesco a few minutes away from the All England Club yesterday, anyone buying strawberries would have seen that the punnets bore the LTA logo and the inclusive message of "Tennis For All". There was even a telephone number to ring for more information about what the LTA can do for you. The problem? Calls to the number cost 50p a minute, a bit rich for an organisation that creamed off pounds 33m last year from the All England Club to pump back into the domestic game.

Tennis: Nice legs, shame about the tennis

Wimbledon 99: Russian rolls through in straight sets but the real class is shown by second-seeded German

Tennis: Wimbledon 99 - Wilkinson's fall sets the trend

THE NORMAL word that follows the name Chris Wilkinson in headlines at Wimbledon is "shock" and yesterday was no different. Except the British No 3 filled the role of the victim on day two instead of the unexpected hero.


RICHARD KRAJICEK is the value bet to win the men's singles at Wimbledon, which gets under way this morning. The No 5 seed figures in easily the softest quarter of the draw and appears to have a clear run through to the quarter-finals, in which he would have every chance of eliminating Andre Agassi, the No 4 seed, before holding equally sound prospects against Pat Rafter in the semi-finals.

No sex please ... it's Wimbledon

The repressed social mores of English amateur tennis are infecting the game at its highest level


Main claim

Tennis: Steffi in full cry for her goodbye

French Open: Emotions run high as retiring Graf storms Paris to heighten the heartache of Hingis

Tennis: Graf sets up battle of champions

French Open semi-finals: Seles broken by the spirit of her old rival while Hingis ends Sanchez's hopes of repeat

Tennis: Novotna's Wimbledon title defence in doubt

JANA NOVOTNA must wait to find out if she will be fit to defend her Wimbledon title after picking up a serious ankle injury at the French Open yesterday, writes John Roberts.
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